Child Custody Lawyer in Arlington Heights
Over the years, Arlington Heights has evolved from an obscure whistle stop on the Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad to a small community dominated by German settlers to one of the largest and most diverse communities in Illinois. Child custody laws have evolved over the years as well. During Arlington Heights’ whistle stop days, women had almost no legal rights. So, divorced fathers almost always received exclusive custody of their children. When German settlers made their mark, most courts adhered to the tender years doctrine. This rule held that children of “tender years” belonged exclusively with their mothers.
Today, Illinois has a co-parenting law. This law basically blends the previous two legal philosophies. Illinois’ co-parenting law presumes that children benefit from meaningful, frequent, and consistent contact with both divorced parents. This presumption does not always apply in all cases, but it is difficult to rebut.
The experienced Arlington Heights child custody lawyers at Andrea Heckman Law have not seen all these changes firsthand. But we have seen many of them, especially the recent legal changes in the Prairie State. We are normally on the cutting edge of such changes. Since our lawyers often participate in the decision making process, we anticipate new laws and adjust our methods accordingly. However, we never stray from the values that made this firm strong. Those values include dedication to clients, thorough preparation, and open communication.
These two platforms, which are similar in many ways, are the most common child custody determination platforms in the Prairie State. Each one requires child custody determinations to be in the best interests of the children.
That’s a rather vague concept. Additionally, different parents have different views of what is “best” for their children. Therefore, Illinois law includes some factors to consider, such as:
- Parental Preference: Some parents want full custody of their children and others want to be weekend parents. More frequently, however, parental preference expressions are indirect. If Father took little interest in Junior’s activities during the marriage, Father would probably not be a good residential parent.
- Child Preference: Somewhat similarly, direct expressions are rare. Most children do not want to pick sides or choose one parent over another one. Instead, the expression is usually indirect. If Junior and Mother do not get along well, for whatever reason, Mother is probably a poor residential parent candidate.
- Status Quo: This best interest factor might be one of the most important ones. Usually, by the time a parent files a divorce or paternity action, an informal time sharing arrangement has been in place for weeks, months, or even years. If the current system works reasonably well, especially as far as the children are concerned, most judges would like to see it stay in place.
Child custody usually involves two components: residential designation and parenting time division. A residential parent used to be called a custodial parent. The parenting time division determines how children split their time between their parents.
Family Law Modifications
Childrens’ best interests change over time. When best interests change, the court orders should change as well. As a rule of thumb, an Arlington Heights child custody lawyer should legally modify court paperwork about once every four years.
Modification is appropriate if circumstances have materially and substantially changed, and the requested modification is in the best interests of the children. Parental job changes and relocations, which are both quite frequent, are the most common grounds for modification.
Regardless of the reason for the change, and the scope of the change, it’s important to get these alterations in writing. The judge-signed order is the only enforceable family law order in Illinois. Side agreements between parents, even if they are written, are unenforceable.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Cook County Attorney
Various legal solutions are available for your changing family. For a free consultation with an experienced child custody attorney in Arlington Heights, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. Convenient payment plans are available.